Having a nest box has never been more important, as British birds are unfortunately running low on nesting holes. Because we are keeping our gardens, woodlands and parks much tidier these days, we are consequently depriving birds of natural places to find homes. However, by putting up a nest boxes in our gardens we could really make a difference.
What birds use Nest Boxes?
Birds that tend to favour small entrance holes are:
- Blue Tits
- Coal Tits
- Great Tits
- House Sparrows
- Marsh Tits
- Tree Sparrows
Birds that that prefer open fronted nest boxes:
- Spotted Flycatchers
- Pied Wagtails
Birds that need a larger entrance:
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
When is the Best Time to put up a nest box?
We recommend that for small birds such as Tits, that you put them up in early spring before their breeding season starts. You can find out more about the drive for this with National Nest Box Week which starts on the 14th February www.nestboxweek.com
Essentially though, we suggest just putting your nest box as soon as you have it. But autumn is a great time, as many birds are looking for a suitable place to stay during winter. They tend to use these same boxes for nesting the following spring.
Where is the best Place to Site a Nest Box?
The main priority is to ensure you provide a safe location where chicks can be raised with the smallest risks from both predators and poor weather conditions.
Its therefore a good idea to put the nest box in place where you can easily maintain it too. Remember, try to inspect the nest with the minimum disruption to the parents and chicks as possible.
The height of the box is also important, as they need to be able to find them. Try not to go less than 1m above ground level.
Sparrows, Tits and Starlings – fix box approximately 2-4m up a tree or wall
Wrens and Robins – need to be lower down below 2m,. Hide in between vegetation for cover
Spotted Flycatchers – 2-4m high in sheltered vegetation
Positioning a nest box in your garden provides birds with a safe, sheltered place to breed and raise their young.
Choosing a Nest Box for your Garden
When choosing a nest box, go for the best quality box that is reasonable for you, as that nest box will not only look attractive, but also be a safe haven for young and vulnerable birds.
We recommend that you choose a nest box that has been made from FSC® certified timber and comes from a trusted bird manufacturer. It is important to use a next box which has not been coated in anything that may possibly hamper the development of young birds.
Our Peckish brand has a range of bird boxes which have been approved by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The BTO recommends the following standards:
- Each wall of the nest box is over 15mm thick to provide sufficient thickness to insulate and prevent warping
- Entrance holes are 32mm, the ideal size for all small-hole nesting birds, such as House Sparrows.
It is also a good idea to consider features such as:
- Drainage holes to prevent a build up of moisture
- Slate roofs providing easy access for cleaning
- Slate or metal around the entrance hole, offering protection against woodpeckers